Learning the value of money — both earning it and saving it — is an important life lesson. You can start to teach kids this through chores and allowances. But after you’ve mastered those areas, it may be time to move onto a bigger, more lucrative project with your brood. This is where you might consider a side hustle.
It seems like everyone has a side hustle these days, earning that oh-so valuable side income, which can be perfect for savings, home projects, and more. But have you considered doing a side hustle with your kids?
Here are a handful of ideas that make good family side hustles. They are all things you can do and try together as a group, making them perfect for earning money for that next dream vacation or even college.
1. Offer pet-sitting and dog-walking.
There are pet-sitting apps, like Rover, that you can sign up for in just a few minutes. For dog-walking, look for Wag. You do have to be 18 to sign up for both of these, but your kids can certainly help you (as long as you're there to supervise) with caring for and walking the pets. You may be able to grow your clientele enough to start a true little family side business — and best of all, it’s completely on your own schedule.
2. Open up an Etsy Shop.
Do you have a craft that you love doing with your kids? You might be able to turn it into an Etsy store. The key to a good Etsy shop is to really focus when you’re first getting started. Don’t try to do too much! Do a little research to find out what’s already out there, and then create your shop to truly stand out.
3. Sell plants.
Seeds are one of the cheapest business-starting supplies you can buy. Try planting your own seeds and then selling the healthy plants in your neighborhood or at your local farmers’ market. Another easy way to sell plants is to take cuttings from houseplants. You can create starter plants in little pots or even cups (which the kids can help decorate).
4. Create handmade goods for the farmers’ market.
While on the subject of farmers’ markets, this is a great way to test out having your own stand or booth. Do a little research to figure out what you should (and can) sell. Many markets will have applications, so be sure to get yours in early. If you find the commitment of a weekly market to be too much, try a church or community fair instead. It’s a one-and-done option that will allow you to test how much people want to buy your option, and it’s usually pretty inexpensive to reserve a space.
5. Start a neighborhood business.
Lawn mowing, snow shoveling, pulling weeds, and more... there are so many side hustles you can start up in your neighborhood. Try to find your neighborhood group on social media. Many will have pages on Facebook or be part of a bigger site like NextDoor.com. Create an info flyer and post information about how you have a family business with your kids. Your neighbors may become your best customers!
6. Start up a babysitting service.
Babysitting isn’t just for teens. There are lots of parents who will pay a premium price to have an older kid or adult watching their child. Better yet is when they can hire a parent/child team because then you have the adult in charge while the kid can help with the entertaining. This is another great option that can be fitted to your schedule. Offer up babysitting when you are able.
7. Hold a class through your local Rec Department.
Is your family really great at technology? Do you have a skill that others might want to learn? Perhaps you and your daughter are both great knitters and you can offer a parent/kid class to others! The local recreation department can be an amazing resource. Most places are completely open to new class options. Just inquire, and they’ll tell you what you need to pitch a class idea.
8. Create and sell art.
If you have artsy talents, then you should be proud of that. Focus in on your best work, and then get involved in the local art scene in your area. When they have art shows or events for up-and-coming artists to sell their work, sign up! (This can also be a good Etsy shop option if you have a built-in audience already who would buy your work.)
9. Start an online review blog.
Kid and family only reviews can be huge. There are some stories of kids that have made a lot of money reviewing toys for instance. You don’t want to go into this one thinking it’s going to be a big money maker, but do take it seriously. Try to hone in on a niche or focus area that others aren’t necessarily doing. Then start writing or doing video reviews. You’ll likely do this for free at first, but as you build your following, you could get freebies or even earn revenue from your site (look into affiliate blogging if this sounds like your thing).
10. Write a book together.
Disclaimer: Books don’t usually earn a lot of money, but they are a wonderful way to create something with your child or as a family. Also remember that the competition can be really tough when it comes to publishing, so don’t just expect to write a cute family story and then get it published. But if you want a passion project, this is a good one to explore.
11. Turn your sports interests into a business.
Do you have a child who adores sports? This can be a business! Here’s another one that could work well by offering a class through the local rec department. Otherwise, look into learning how to be a ref or umpire. This is usually a gig for older kids, but if you do have a teen, it might be fun to go through the training together and then work different gigs or games.
12. Start a resale business on Poshmark.
There are kids out there with Poshmark shops that sell sneakers, retro clothing, and more. See what’s out there, and then learn from others who are having success. Then check out thrift stores, garage sales, and other places on the weekends to help gather items for your store.
13. Scout for vintage or antique treasures.
If selling clothes are not your thing, then consider vintage or antique items instead. You’ll do best if your family can figure out a focus area. For instance, maybe you have a hobby of old coins, vintage advertisements, or sports cards. By finding a focus (and finding an area everyone is interested in), you can truly become educated and turn it into a fun hobby. Pokemon or Magic cards are also resell areas that can be popular with kids because of the gaming aspect.
14. Offer tutoring.
Tutors aren’t just adults! Sometimes the best tutors are kids and teens who are familiar with the material. By offering a family tutoring service, you will be able to cove a lot more. Your customers will like the family component as well.
Stacy Tornio is the author of The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book and the mom of two adventurous kids. Together, they like planning vacations centered around the national parks.